Trumbull – Dear Boys – News About Everyone Except Ced – May 24, 1942

APG - Postcard post mark from Ayers, MA the day of induction, May, 1942

APG - Postcard to Dad the day he was inducted - May, 1942

5/14/42

As you can see by this postmark (Ayer, Massachusetts), I am now a member of Uncle Sam’s Army. However I haven’t the faintest idea, as yet, what will happen, or where I will go. We got into Hartford about 7:20 and almost immediately to pass through (no info) the physical. I passed OK. At present, we are enroute from Hartford and boy, it sure is a rough track. More later.   AP

********************************************

??????????????????????????

         Alfred Peabody Guion

Trumbull, Conn., May 24, 1942

Dear Boys:

A postal card from Lad reveals that he is, and expects for the next six or eight weeks, to be at Ordnance Replacement Center, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, Co. B, 1st Ordnance Training Battalion. I am awaiting further details to learn whether this was his choice, based possibly on the fact that his experience with moving heavy equipment with Socony-Vacuum or possibly the use of diesels in transporting big guns, or whether he was just sent there willy-nilly. I asked Harry Robinson one day how he became deaf and he told me that during the first World War, they sent him to Aberdeen and the concussion from the firing of the big guns was what destroyed his hearing.

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

No news from Dan, merely a request to have Barbara (Barbara Plumb, his girlfriend)  bring down with her his Alaskan slides which he had promised to show to several interested parties in Roanoke Rapids. Barbara left Thursday night and expected to arrive Friday morning, returning to Bridgeport in time for work Tuesday morning. I hope to receive, even though it be secondhand, more detailed information from this tantalizing individual who merely writes he now has a specialist’s rating carrying with it a boost of $20 in his pay, but what the rating is for, how obtained, etc, is left to the imagination. He also refers to the possibility of making application to Officer’s Candidate School, but beyond that bare fact no more information is vouchsafed. He does mention that he has applied for a furlough early in July, which he will not know definitely can be granted for some time, and announces he has definitely decided not to use his car down there.

ADG - Dick atThe Chandler's - Group on steps (cropped) - 1939

Richard Peabody Guion

Dick has just received card notification from Draft Board that he is in Class 1. He informed me today he has decided to see what can be done about transferring him to a day shift again. He is losing weight due to lack of sleep, which is harder to get in summer day times, and the reflection of artificial light from the pieces he works on affects his eyes. He still spends most of his spare time at Stratford (where Jean Mortensen lives) in spite of the gas rationing restrictions.

DPG - with Zeke holding Butch

David Peabody Guion

Dave, for some time, has been hopeful of making the grade as President of his sophomore class, but finally lost out. He took his defeat in the sporting spirit. Lately he has been seeing a great deal of Natalie Slawson, at whose house he calls, whenever the parental discipline is a little off guard.

Aunt Betty (Lizzie Duryee), summer, 1946

Aunt Betty (Lizzie) Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt

Aunt Betty manages to put in a pretty full day divided up between caring for her flowerbeds, darning socks, washing dishes, cleaning house, etc. She says she is not over-doing things but I would rather she took it a little easier.

EWGZ - Bissie and Raymond Jr. (Butch) at baptism - June, 1940

Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel and her son, Raymond Jr. (Butch)

Elizabeth, due to gas rationing restrictions, won’t be able to use the car as much as formerly, so probably will not visit us as frequently.

The sewer drain, under the cellar stairs, sprung a leak and backed up in the cellar and I spent as much time as I could spare from dinner chores this morning and after dinner this afternoon, in digging up the ground to find  where the break occurred and trying to fix it, with only partial success.

DAD

To0morrow and Sunday, more of Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida, when she was 16 years old.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (2) – Training Continues – May 17, 1942

Lad’s first letter home to his father and the rest of the family continues with Lad’s detailed training activities at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, where he is part of an Ordnance Battalion.

Lad - 1943

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Wed.

Due to the issue of rifles last night, I did not have time to complete this letter. And it looks as though I may not have time to finish it tonight. We are to have a lecture at 8 PM and that is only a short time distant. If anyone tells you that we are busy, just let it pass as an understatement. Boy, from 5:45 until 9:00, with the exception of about 30 minutes at noon and 1½ hours in the evening, we do not have time to even think for ourselves. To say nothing of heeding “Mother Nature”.

May 23

I was right. I could not finish it, and then, since there was to be an inspection today, we spent all free time yesterday thoroughly cleaning the barracks. Outside and in. Then today for a diet we had drilling all morning, an inspection/review early in the afternoon, a rigid inspection later in the barracks, and then about 40 of us were marched a couple of miles to the infirmary, given two injections, and marched back again. Right now my right arm is so stiff that I have to use only my fingers and wrist to write. And incidentally, I don’t feel too hot. Oh! Yes. – Yesterday we were given our first rifle practice on an indoor range. I didn’t do too bad, but nowhere nearly as well as Dan.

From things that have been said at various places and by various people who should know. – Ordnance work and the Ordnance Department of the US Army rates second to none. Not even the Engineering Corps. Apparently, eight men out of 1000 get far enough to make the necessary qualifications for this department, and then, to make things even better, of those picked men, two out of 1000 get a chance to qualify for an Instructor’s rating and the Officer’s Training Course. I am among the latter few, and that really makes me feel good. I just hope that I can live up to the honor when my chance comes. I believe that if things go for me as they have been planned at present, I will be stationed here at Aberdeen Proving Grounds  (A.P.G.) (NOTE: Lad’s initials – Alfred Peabody Guion) for six months or even for the duration. In any case, Ordnance men are not trained to fight except as a means of self-protection, and the main idea, roughly, is to supply the men on the lines with ammunition, and equipment for fighting. We are the men behind the men on the front. Apparently, I have been picked to act as an instructor in automotive repair and maintenance. Well, so much for Army Life, here. I received your letter O.K., but I’m afraid that it will not be as easy as you seem to think to write regularly for a few weeks anyway. I am busier than the proverbial bee. Time out.

Sunday –

Those injections plus a cold got me. I quit, planning to take a short rest, but the first thing I knew it was just 9 PM and the corporal was saying one minute before lights out, so I didn’t have time to write more.

Breakfast on Sundays is at 7:00 and then I spent the rest of the morning washing clothes and cleaning my equipment in general. Then, immediately after lunch we fell out with rifles and had an inspection of arms. Then, following this, we went on a hike of about 5 or 6 miles, with cartridge belt, first aid kit and leggins. We returned in time for supper and then – here I am.

Quarantine will be up one week from tomorrow night. Then, if I am lucky, I will be able to get a pass for the weekend.

However, in the meantime, I would appreciate very much your sending me 10 clothes hangers. Two of them, steel. It is impossible to get hangers here.

I heard from Babe (Cecelia Mullins, the girl he’s been dating back home) Sat. but have not received any other mail. And speaking of mail, can you give me Dan’s address?

APG - Aberdeen Proving Grounds insignia

How do you like the Ordnance Emblem? The department colors are yellow and crimson. The insignia is a flaming bomb.

In order to shorten the address you may use the abbreviations as shown below: – remember me to everyone and my love to Aunt Betty.

Pvt. ______(me)____

Co B – 1st Bn. – O.R.T.C.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Md.

Love —–

Lad

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to his sons away from home.  

Judy Guion 

Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (1) – Trumbull, Connecticut, to Ayer, Massachusetts, to Aberdeen, Maryland – May 18, 1942

This is the first page of 11, a long letter to Grandpa telling him of all of his adventures after leaving Grandpa at the Railroad Station in Shelton/Derby, CT, on May 14, 1942.

APG - First letter to Grandpa from Aberdeen Proving Grounds - May 18, 1942

Pvt. A.P. Guion

Co. B 14 Bn ORTC

Aberdeen Proving Ground

Md.

May 18, 1942

Dear Dad: –

We left Derby on time and stopped at Ansonia. Here a second car was filled, and after a stop at Waterbury the third car was filled and our next stop was Hartford. Here we detrained at a few minutes before nine and walked about 1 ½ blocks to the Induction Center. There were so many of us that the complete inspection was not over until 2:45. The actual inspection per person was not more than 30 or 35 min., if that much. At 3 PM the 88 who had passed the examinations out of 169, were put into a separate car and in a few minutes a train coupled onto the car and we were off. The train stopped nowhere until it got to Worchester, Mass. Here a switch engine hooked onto our car and while the train went on, we were switched back and forth, and ended up on the track going in the opposite direction. Here another train picked us up and again we were off. Our next stop was in Ayer, Mass., where there is no platform of any kind. The tracks run through the backyard of Camp Devens. Here, with our baggage, we were again given a short march and after a little discussion concerning behavior in the camp we were issued raincoats and a barracks bag, another hike to Co. B, 1st Bn., and we were issued blankets. Incidentally, we detrained at Fort Devens at 5:40, 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Then came supper and bed making instructions and we were more than glad to turn in at 9:00.

Friday we rose at 5:45 A.M., policed the barracks and fell out for breakfast. Immediately after that we were taken to Q.M.C. and issued our uniforms. What a system. It takes about four or five minutes from the time you start, stark naked, til you emerge at the other end very well fitted from the skin out, and in six complete uniforms with two complete changes of everything else. Then came an Aptitude test – lunch – and a private interview. Back to the theater to be shown a film on the evil side of sex, a couple of short welcome speeches – supper – a couple of fallout calls to advise some of the men that they were leaving early Sat. morning and then to bed.

Sat – up at 5:45 and out for reveille where 10 fellows and myself were told we would be ready to leave at 7:15. A rush to breakfast, again to the medical section for injections and a vaccination, back again for clothes and we fell out at 7:21 for the trip to wherever it was. We were marched out to the same lot at which we detrained when we first arrived and here we were told to wait for further orders. We waited until 8:30 and then were assembled and marched back to the road again, a distance of a couple of hundred yards and were put onto a truck. By truck we were taken a few miles to Fitchburg where we again waited and at 9:21 a train pulled in. At the rear was a special car and we were loaded into this. By now we numbered 44. A sergeant was in charge. He would give us no information as to where we were going, not even if it were a long trip. However with spirits undaunted, we had a good time. At Greenfield, Mass., we were shunted again and changed direction of travel from west to south. Our next stop was at Springfield where we were put onto a siding and taken into the station for lunch. After lunch we boarded the car again and in a couple of minutes another train backed up and again we were off. We stopped at Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford and Penn Station. We were ordered not to mail anything or make phone calls until we arrived at our destination, so I could not write anything to you. A half hour stop in Penn. Station, while a Penn. Engine was put on in place of the New Haven, during which time we ate a box lunch, and then began a real ride. On the New Haven road we had made good time, and only a few stops, but the track was quite rough and I don’t think we traveled better than 45 or 50 M.P.H. The first stop on the new leg was at Newark and then began a fast non-stop trip. The only times we slowed down below 75 M.P.H. (according to my figuring – the mile posts were going by every 44 or 45 seconds) was when we switched from the local track to the express or vice versa. On this trip we passed two freight trains, two locals and one express. All of them moving. It took about 2 ½ or 3 miles to pass the express, but we did it. Our next stop was Philadelphia, then Wilmington and then Aberdeen. Here, to our surprise, we all got off and were taken by truck, in the rain, to our present location (see the letterhead). We were issued blankets, assigned to barracks and were glad to go to bed even though it was only 9:30.

Sunday we had nothing to do, and also being in quarantine for a two-week period, we could do nothing. I acquainted myself as well as I could with in our limited grounds, about 2000 x 1000 feet, and made a few purchases at the PX (Camp store – Post Exchange) which we are lucky enough to have within grounds and again retired.

Monday began our training and was spent in learning marching fundamentals.

Today, Tuesday, we heard from a few of the Big Shots on the duties of the Ordnance Dept., and this afternoon, more drilling. Just now we are having an inspection of all equipment issued to us. And so will end today. And, believe me, we are all glad to hit the hay at 9:00 P.M. when the lights go out.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter from Lad to his Dad, my Grandpa, all about his first experiences in and with the Army after his induction. Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his three sons away from home: Ced in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic; Dan, being trained as an Army surveyor in Pennsylvania and Lad, who has just been inducted and is at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Judy Hardy

Trumbull – Dear Tripartate (1) – Lad Joins the Army – May 17, 1942

This week, my posts will be about Lad’s introduction into Army life with a little bit about other members of the family.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn., May 17, 1942

Dear Tripartite:

Spring Bulletin No. 1 – Saw mosquito, sank same.

Yesterday afternoon, my entire remaining army of sappers and Miners (accent on the sap), being awol, I had the alternative of cutting grass or cleaning oil stove burner in the kitchen, and, as it seemed to be threatening rain, I selected the latter job which I finished and then lit the fire. About 10 o’clock it really started to rain, not a little sissy sprinkle but a steady business-like downpour, distinctly audible from where I sat in the kitchen listening to Raymond Grame Swing. The drumming beat of the raindrops continued, accompanied by gurglings as it rushed down the leaders, and to its obligato, I went off to dreamland, being rudely awakened at ten minutes to three by the sound of the Trumbull fire siren, accompanied, a few minutes later, by the arrival of the apparatus itself right in front of our house. Beams of light stabbed the rain and darkness, car after car arrived, smoke drifted in through the window, men shouted outside. My oil burner flashed into mind. Was this history repeating itself?  A light appeared under Dave’s door. Light blasted out from Warden’s apartment. A crowd seemed gathering in front of the house all the way from Laufer’s to Pack’s. Dave and I peered out of the windows. There was a light also in the cottage, but Dave finally discerned a ladder up against Pack’s house, which solved the mystery. Apparently they got whatever fire there was under control quickly, and about half an hour later the neighborhood returned to its wonted quiet.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Wednesday last, Lad woke me up a little before 5 A. M. and after a hasty breakfast we started off in my car for the w.k. rail road station in Derby, from which I saw my engineer son (Dan left in January, 1942, just 5 months earlier) off to the army camp. This time, however, there was much more of a crowd, the station yard being pretty well crowded with cars. I learned later there were about 80 men in all in the group. A voice said: “May I have your attention for a minute, please”, and then went on to announce that he was the leader of the local draft board, gave them a brief talk, introduced the mayor of Derby, an ex-service man himself, who also gave them a little pep talk. It was then announced that booklets will be distributed to each trainee, and to expedite delivery the two leaders who had been appointed were asked to assist. Mr. so-and-so and Mr. Gwo-yon were asked to step forward. I looked at Lad but he said it was not intended for him as he was not a leader. However, when the booklet was passed out with his name on it, the same pronunciation was given, and when later, Lad went into the station to get his ticket, the girl informed him he had been appointed a leader. His duties were to see that the men were properly entrained, etc. The only way I could figure it out was that probably, in going over Lad’s questionnaire, they noted that he had been in charge of a group of men in Venezuela and had also taken the police training course, both of which would qualify him for the job. As this seemed to indicate he would probably be busy and the absence of a father would relieve him of one additional burden, I said good-by as the train pulled into the station. I have not heard from him since, but the plan was for the boys to go to Hartford for their final physical exam, thence to Camp Devens and parts unknown. Lad did not sell his car. The Buick people would not give him even six hundred dollars for it so it now reposes in the barn awaiting more favorable days.

Tomorrow, I’ll finish this letter from Grandpa to Ced, Dan and Lad, all away from home now. Wednesday and Thursday, a letter from Lad to Grandpa with his version of his first weeks in the Army. I’ll finish the week with another letter from Grandpa to his boys away from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – Dave’s Induction and a Good Conduct Medal – January 16, 1944

This is the first half of a  long letter Grandpa penned to his sons and daughter-in-law during the first month of 1944. It is filled with Army News.

DPG - Dave in uniform nexct to barn - Dec., 1944 cropped - head and shoulders)

David Peabody Guion, January, 1944

Trumbull, Conn., January 16, 1944

Dear Dave:

Now that you have become eligible for membership in the “Veterans of Foreign Wars”, and this is the first letter you will have received as a rookie from me, it is quite appropriate that this week’s news sheet should be addressed to you alone. With your kind permission, however, we will allow other Guion members of the armed forces and their “appendages” to peak over your shoulder, so to speak, and thus glean what few bits of information they may from this screed.

While we did not receive the expected postal from you up to the last mail Saturday, a little bird whispered that internally you were humming a theme song which had a slight resemblance to the old saw: “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home”. But cheer up, all your big brothers went through the same experiences and got over it without any permanent scars. It’s always the beginning that is the most difficult and beginnings never last.

After saying goodbye to you at the Shelton Town Hall Thursday, clutching in your little hands the booklet donated by the American Legion on how to act as a soldier, the little package of cigarettes, chewing gum, etc., we drove down to Bridgeport and Aunt Betty took the bus home. I admit I felt a bit lonesome all by myself in the office but having found from past experience that plunging into work is the best antidote for brooding, I tried a full dose of the remedy and held the enemy at bay, if you don’t mind mixed metaphors. I will say however that we all miss you a great deal and every so often someone says: “I wonder what Dave is doing now?”. (If they only knew, huh?)

Every week over this station we call in our correspondents from distant points. We will now hear from Ordnance in Texas. Come in Texarkana. (Pause) We regret that conditions beyond our control interfere with proper reception, but here is a report as of Jan. 9th.

Lad'swedding photo (2)

            Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) 

Lad opens up with the shot amid ship: “I’m sorry, my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance.” (Which is quite proper as long as you don’t back the old man off the map entirely, Lad. I know you won’t do that and even if you felt like it I don’t think Marian would let you, so there) These faithful daughters-in-law of mine do have such a struggle at times trying to get their new husbands lined up. It’s an awful task, girls, I know. I’ve been at it longer than you, sometimes with fair results but many times with but meager returns. All this, of course by way of an aside, because Lad reassuringly goes on to temper the broadside by adding: “However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense decreased. I still think of all of you constantly but time has been lacking. In fact, I had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week.

On December 18th Lad was given advance notice he was to be shipped out. On the 21st he learned he had to go to Texarkana, Texas, and must be there by December 25th. Some Christmas present! By noon of the 21st he was on his way in the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. He arrived on Christmas Day and until January 3rd worked in getting a group of men ready to start training. If the 23 men under Lad’s charge successfully pass their examination, they are scheduled for overseas sometime in the early summer, but due to the type of work they are trained for, they should always be at least 300 miles from the front.

Lad doesn’t like the weather there at all – snowy, cold and damp. Marian is planning to come out by train about February 1st, and will come to Trumbull with Lad when (?) he gets his furlough.

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Dick)

Incidentally, just to show up thoughtful, generous minded Jean, just as soon as she learned the above, she immediately said, “When they come they can have my room.”, and as admittedly, hers is the most attractively furnished room in the house, it’s rather significant. And while I am at it, I might as well tell on her some more. Zeke asked Elizabeth to go out with him to some affair last night, but they could find no one to take care of the children, and in spite of the fact that she was not feeling top-notch, Jean packed her little overnight bag and took the double bus journey over to Stratford. I don’t suppose she will like me publishing these facts but I believe these little kindnesses should not go unacknowledged.

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

(We now switch to Southern California where Mrs. A. P. has a message for us.

Marian writes on some new stationary with her initials and address embossed in green, which I sent her at Lad’s suggestion. And now, young lady, stop around at the 5 and 10 on your way back from lunch and pick up a bottle of green fountain pen ink, just to put the finishing touch on this Irish Symphony. Enclosed with her letter were some highly prized photo prints from the Kodachrome slides, showing Marian, Lad, the cake and other members of the wedding party. And there is a promise of more to come later. They were very much appreciated, as you may well surmise. Marian has officially terminated her work with the Camp Fire Girls as of February 1st, and is looking forward to soon being “down in the heart of Texas”, clap, clap or however the song goes. Thanks, Marian, for keeping us so well posted. You’re a great girl, as Lad has remarked once or twice.

APG and MIG wedding pictures -0 cake and table (2)

The Wedding Cake in the Irwin House, where the ceremony and reception were held

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

 Marian (Irwin) Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

  Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

Your announcer for several months past has been able to highlight various items of importance to listeners over this station. In November it was the Guion – Irwin wedding. In December, it was the Alaskan’s return. In January, the youngest son eloped with Uncle Sam’s Army. But that is not all. The month is not finished yet. In fact January has already proven to be a doubleheader and may even become tripodal in character – see Alaska note later. The big news beginning January’s second-half is a broadcast from Brig. Gen. Pleas B. Rogers, U.S.A., Commanding Headquarters, Central Base Section as follows: I quote from the official document received by the proud father during the week-

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Subject: Award of Good Conduct Medal to

Daniel B. Guion

T/5 31041206

Co. A, 660th Engr. Bn.

Dear Mr. Guion:

It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity

(At this point, I believe Grandpa started another sheet of paper, but the carbon paper was reversed, so I don’t have the rest of this letter from Brigadier General Rogers.)

Tomorrow, I’ll post the conclusion to this letter.

If you enjoy reading these stories and adventures of various members of my family, why not share this link with a friend or two? They might find them interesting, also.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Everybody – Lad Arrives in Texarkana, Texas – January 9, 1944

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad and Marian)

As you may remember, Lad received orders to report to Texarkana, Texas, before Christmas and only one month after getting married to Marian in California. They had a quiet and early Christmas just before he left on the 21st. This is his first letter to Grandpa and the Home Guard in Trumbull.

Sun. Noon  Jan. 9, 1944

Dear Everybody:-

I’m sorry, but my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian, and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance. However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense, decreased. I still think of all of you, constantly, but time has been very lacking. In fact I’ve had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week. Here is the reason, en todo:-

Lad - 1943

Lad, my Father

On December 18th I was told that I was to go to Texarkana or Flora, Miss. On the 21st I learned definitely that it was Texarkana and that I had to be there by December 25th. Some Xmas present. By noon on the 21st I was on my way via the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. As I wired, I got in on Sat., December 25th and that’s ”B.S.” in the message should have been “By”. The Texarkana W.U. (Western Union) also made a mistake in the one to Marian. Until Jan. 3rd we worked hard getting a group of men ready for basic training, which really amounted to nothing of consequence and we really didn’t need to arrive here until Jan. 2nd. That first week was just a waste of time. Then on the 3rd we started training our men in earnest. From Santa Anita 25 good men were sent here as the parent cadre for the 3019th Co. 142 Bn. We are an engine rebuild company attached to the 142 Bn. which contains two engine rebuild Cos., one powertrain rebuild Co., one Hq & supply Co. and one base depot Co. We will work as a unit, always, the five companies being in close contact at all times and performing 5th echelon or Base Ord. work. I am one of the barracks sergeants and am responsible to see that my 23 privates passed a P.O.E. examination. If they pass, we are scheduled for overseas shipment sometime in June or July, and there seems to be no kidding about that. Due to our type of work we should always be at least 300 miles from the front lines. That, at least, is one consolation. This past week (and I imagine that the next five also) has been the toughest one I’ve spent since my induction in May, 1942. I am teaching these boys (most of them have at least one child, some three or four or five) the same training I received during my first five weeks in the Army. They have all been in the Army less than one month, and all were inducted just a few days before Christmas. I’ll never understand why the Army does some of the things it does. It is very disheartening, and produces a lot of resentment, even in myself.

The weather here is terrible after Southern California. Today is the fourth day of sunshine we’ve seen in over two weeks. It is cold enough to freeze and we had snow for two days. It is impossible to keep warm and well in the cold, wet rain we’ve had here. I’ve got a very slight cold, but other than that and cold feet, I’m well.

Marian is coming out by train, I think, soon after February 1st and will come to Trumbull with me when (?) I get my furlough. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Christmas, naturally, was quite a quiet affair, and the same with New Year’s Eve, and not being able to wire anything I had to use “the best of everything” in my telegram. However, the thoughts to you all were there nonetheless.

I got your gifts, thanks, via Marian and the mail, and was extremely pleased with everything. This is my last sheet of paper until I go to the PX so I’ll quit with the very best wishes for the new year and a sincere desire that your numerous wishes come true.

Lots of love, etc.

Laddie

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dick, Lad, Marian and Dan (2) – Thoughts About the Trumbull House – January 9, 1944

This is the second half of a letter I started posting yesterday.

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

And as for my newest daughter, Marian, the more I hear from her the tougher my luck seems that we haven’t had the privilege of really knowing her. She always writes such generous, effortless letters, cheery and bright. I rather think she is the sort of person who always sees the best in everybody and makes the best of everything. Her last letter says Lad holds out their prospects of their getting some place to live in Texarkana and Marian is making plans now to arrange her affairs so that she can possibly join Lad sometime in February.

January 6th was Elizabeth’s birthday, so we all piled into the old Buick, with the cake (I tried to get some cider from Boroughs but they have discontinued making it for the season), some presents, including those recently received from South Pasadena for Elizabeth and the kids. Zeke has quit working on the night shift at Singer’s http://wikimapia.org/32447173/Singer-Sewing-Machine so he was home also. The kids had gone to bed but they both came hurrying down the stairs in their Dr. Denton’s, and a good time was had by all.

The Trumbull House (circa 1928)

The Trumbull House (taken in 2015)

Dick’s remarks about the old house here at Trumbull remind me of something I have thought of from time to time but never got so far as putting it down on paper. I look on this place not exclusively as my home, if you get what I mean, but as belonging to Lad and Marian, Dick and Jean, Dan, Ced and Dave (and it would be Elizabeth’s too, if she didn’t have a home of her own), sort of a community owned affair, a place that is really theirs for as long as they want to make it so, a place they can come back to after this war is over, not in the spirit of coming home to Dad’s so much as coming back to their own home, permanently if desired, but in any event, just as long as they need to find what they want to do in the future peace economy, using it perhaps as a springboard to launch off into some new effort, with that feeling of security in knowing that they can always come back to try another spring if the first doesn’t pan out as expected. When you are all settled permanently in whatever and whereever you want to be and do, only then will I feel that the old home will have achieved its final function. I don’t know whether I have put across the idea in the back of my mind, but the idea is to build up a sense of possessive ownership and a feeling of security from a firmly fixed anchor, particularly at the time after the war when the confusion of thoughts and circumstances naturally attendant upon readjustment from war to peace activities, is apt to upset one’s tempo. What fun it would be if we could all live together here for a while, anyway. Then the Psalmist’s words might come true, “Behold, how good and how well pleasant is it for brethren to dwell together in unity.”       He doesn’t say anything about the sistren, and while that is generally conceded as more of an understanding, I guess we could manage that, too. Anyway, let that be the thought for the day, and make your plans accordingly. Here’s to the day when Brazil, London, Alaska, South Pasadena, Texarkana and (Camp Devens ?) all rally around the Trumbull banner, with the war only a memory and long years of peace and happiness and prosperity ahead for all.

With that cheerful note with which to start the new year, add a father’s love and blessing, and you’ll have a suitable message from    DAD

NOTE: The Trumbull House, bought in 1922, stayed in the family for 99 years and was sold in July, 2021. It was indeed a place where we could all live together. After World War II, Dick and Jean lived there until they bought a house in New Hampshire, Lad and Marian (plus the four children they had)  lived there until 1966, when Lad and Marian moved to California with their youngest, Lynn, after she graduated from High School, both boys, my twin Doug and younger brother Greg, were in the Army and I was away at college), Dan and Paulette (and the six children they eventually had) lived there for the rest of their lives, buying the house in 1964, after Grandpa passed away, and Dave and Eleanor (and the two children they had) lived there until buying a house in Stratford. 

Tomorrow, a letter from Lad to Grandpa and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a very-long letter from Grandpa to his scattered flock.  

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad’s Induction Into the U. S. Army – May 14, 1942

For the Greatest Generation, it was an honor and a privilege to serve and defend their country. The following excerpts are taken from a pamphlet called “FALL – IN”,” “Greetings to the men who serve today from your comrades of 1917 and 1918”. It was presented by the American Legion to my father, Lad, on May 14th, 1942, the day he reported for duty.

APG - FALL IN, May 14, 1942  (cover)

APG - Fall In... Induction date, 5.14.1942

APG - FALL IN - May 14, 1942 (Contents)

 WHAT YOU ARE DEFENDING

Life….. Liberty….. Pursuit of Happiness

Right to Hold Property

Brotherhood of Free Peoples….. Equality of Man

The Constitution, Including the Bill of Rights

American Way of Life

THE FOUR FREEDOMS

“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”

  1. Freedom of speech and expression
  2. Freedom for everyone to worship according to his own faith
  3. Freedom from want – poverty is a crime today
  4. Freedom from fear – “Sic Semper Tyrannies”

FOREWARD

This booklet could properly be titled, “Letters from a sailor father to his son.” It is a welcome to comradeship from the members of the American Legion to those young men who are now entering upon the greatest experience of their lives. They have become Service Men in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Members of the American Legion, without exception, wore the uniform of the United States with outstanding honor during the great war, now sometimes termed World War I. They were honorably discharged after the emergency but they have never ceased to serve their country. They have displayed great interest in the problems of their country; they have manifested that interest at all times by serving in peace as they served in war.

But now we are at war. Our nation has been attacked. We are starting NOW to build – to build for the preservation of freedom and the homes we love:

Therefore at a time when these forces are being expanded, trained and made ready to defend our beloved country, at any cost necessary, the American Legion greets these men and women who are now defending the same things for which we fought and for which we offered all that we were and all that we hoped to be.

We want to be the Big Brothers, the Pals and the close friends of those young defenders. We want to serve as advisers when they seek advice; it is our desire to attempt to make their road just a little smoother, their great task a little easier, and above all, to make the success of their accomplishment secure.

For these reasons we offer you this information culled from our own memorable experiences of 23 years ago.

(Signature)

Lynn U. Stambaugh

National Commander

THE SERVICE FRATERNITY

You are, or soon will be, a fraternity brother in the oldest fraternity on earth, a fraternity of men who have served their country. There is no closer brotherhood on earth, there never has been.

No one can explain it, no one can define the comradeship that exists among men who have served; it is an active, living brotherhood. Money cannot buy membership; preference finds no place on its rolls. It’s the service that counts. It’s service that pays your initiation and secures your membership. No one can take it away; nothing can take its place.

Your service is your initiation into the fraternity of all serviceman. That initiation may be a bit tough in places but it brings to the surface the fine characters of men; it also shows up the other side in some. It brings everything to the surface. There is nothing hidden during that initiation. We can visualize your experiences. We went through it and therefore we hope that we can make things better for you by giving you a brief outline of what may be ahead for you.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

First, you are an individual worthy to defend liberty and freedom. You have chosen to preserve that for which many have died to obtain and to defend. You are to wear the uniform and the insignia of the grandest organization on earth.

Second, you are now a comrade of every man and woman who has served, or is serving under the flag of United States; of Washington, Jackson, Grant, Lee, Custer, Roosevelt, Pershing, and all the rest. After your service is completed you will find no rank or preference among your comrades.

Third, you are going to have a lot of new experiences, many of which will seem very hard and burdensome as you pass through them but which will appear some time later as interesting and amusing experiences.

Fourth, you are entering upon a new life and it will be somewhat difficult to make adjustments. The service has its regulations and traditions. They are sacred to the service so do not try to change them. They are older than you and each regulation exists for some good reason. Their worth has been proven by experience – and hard experience at that. So accept them as they are and conform yourself to them.

“The service is just what you make it.”

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will begin posting Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys – Lad is in the Army (2) – May 10, 1942

page 2     5/10/42

It’s too bad you boys can’t claim exemption on account of paralysis of your writing fingers. As far as I know secondhand, Dan is too busy planting flowers to write, no word having come from him this week. This could be born with more fortitude if the phone had rung last night and a voice said, “This is your son, Dan, at the Bridgeport railroad station”. I must say he is impartial in his neglect as Barbara (plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) is considerably burned up about her inability to get letters also.

I did get a postal from a Mrs. Beckwith of Roanoke Rapids, who very kindly wrote what she calls a “keeping -in-touch” card to me telling me she had met Dan, was inviting him to supper and had a son of her own about his age in the Army.

Ced @ 1945

Cedric Duryee Guion

          And I seem to have lost my pulling power with you, too, Ced, for in spite of my splendid example of invariably writing to you backsliders once a week, come hell or high water, I can’t seem to get either of you on a weekly schedule. I hope Lad will do better because it will be pretty tough having three boys away and not hearing from any of them regularly. I know it’s tough to have so exacting a father, but that also you can blame on the war. Maybe I’ll stop writing for a month or so and wait for you to ask some questions. It’s too easy having home news sent to you without any effort once a week. Maybe you wouldn’t mind it so much at that, and then where would I be?

And speaking of asking questions, Dick was asking today if Ced wouldn’t write him what the labor situation was at present at the airbase, if they still needed men and were still paying the same salaries. From a few remarks he has dropped I surmise jobs and salaries here do not compare favorably with his Alaskan experience. In your next (?) letter home, Ced, tell us a bit about how you are getting along with your flying, which you haven’t mentioned for months. Was your boss successful in getting a deferment for you? Have you filled out your questionnaire yet?

This week I managed to get three packages off to you which I hope will arrive in time for your birthday. Two of them are from Read’s — not much but just to let you know you are not forgotten. I also sent direct a box of miscellaneous junk. A couple of small items will gladden Rusty’s heart when he is confronted with an overdone batch of apricots cooking on the stove all night. Be sure to let me know when they arrive so I can put in claims for them if they are lost in transit.

Among news briefs are these: A new gray line bus now runs to Trumbull, up Reservoir Avenue, as far as Ray King’s place just beyond the Merritt Parkway. Wardens have a washing machine, his present to her for Mother’s Day. Next month she has to go to the hospital for a minor operation.

Blog - Lilac Bush

Speaking of Mother’s Day (today) Aunt Betty thoughtfully arranged a bunch of lilacs (which are now in bloom) on the dinner table today in memory of your mother. Yesterday at the Town Hall I united a couple in matrimony. Lad is trying to sell his car. He is trying to get $750 for it. He paid $900. On account of tire and gas rationing the market is none too good. If he can’t get $700 for it he will store it for the duration.

The following letter from Grandma (Peabody): “I have been on the half and half sick list since February 16th. The first two weeks Dorothy had to stay out of school to care for me. It made it pretty hard for her because she wanted to keep up with her studies along with doing the housework. I am feeling much better. My heart was quite bad for a while. You may be surprised to know we are both staying at Kemper’s (Peabody, one of Grandma Arla’s brothers), who has moved into this lovely large house which they are renting. They are renting their own house. Last Sunday Kemper and Ethel left for Vermont to be gone until next Tuesday. I would like very much to make you a visit and enjoy the lilacs but it may be some time yet before I can and by then the lilacs will be gone. What an experience Ced is having.”

Tomorrow, The Induction Booklet presented to Lad at the Shelton Railroad Station on May 14th, 1942. 

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – Dear Boys – Lots of News About Family and Friends – April 26, 1942

Trumbull, Conn., April 26, 1942

Dear Boys:

Tomorrow is registration day for the old fellows; in Trumbull it is to be conducted at the Center School. The high schools in Bridgeport are to be used for the same purpose so Dave has a holiday – – to work at the office. Along in May sometime there will be a day when we will appear again at the school to apply for sugar registration cards, 1 pound per person every two weeks. On May 15th gasoline rationing starts. The powers have not decided whether the common people get 2 ½ or 10 gallons of gas per week, but between gas rationing and tire restrictions, it does not look as though there will be much auto driving this summer, and by the same token, Dan, I am wondering if the gas situation will induce you to change your mind about driving your car down to camp from here as mentioned in your last letter. Dick says the car is in running condition and when I read your letter I had an idea I would like to drive down with you to North Carolina and come home by bus or train after looking the place over, telling your general not to let you stay out nights and get your feet wet by leaving off your rubbers on rainy days, and in general putting my seal of approval on the new layout, but we can talk that over later.

Jack Fillman was in for a few minutes yesterday afternoon to see Dick. He looks fine, has gained 15 pounds and is with an artillery unit stationed at a new post on the North Carolina shore. Cy Linsley also called yesterday afternoon to have me witness his questionnaire. Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend) called one day during the week all dolled up in his Bridgeport emergency police uniform. It was rather amusing to see him in that outfit knowing his attitude in the past and recalling the many run-ins he had with the Trumbull police.

It has been a mild, balmy, sunshiny day and Dave and I started out at 8 this morning and walked all around Pinebrook Lake. We got home a little after 10, Dave to go to church and I to get Sunday’s dinner. On the way back we stopped for a minute to talk to Mrs. Ives (a neighbor), who was weeding her flower bed, and learned that Mr. Ives is in Bridgeport Hospital for observation and treatment. He still is troubled with swollen glands, a condition known as Hodgson’s disease or some similar name. As long as he takes it easy he is O.K. but as soon as he does any work he develops a fever. X-ray treatment is being used to remedy the trouble.

Friday I attended a joint meeting of chairman of various Red Cross activities in the Town, and incidentally learned something that, in the back of my mind I knew all the time, but had evidently lain dormant, and that is the fact that the Red Cross is the liaison between the men in service and the home. For instance, when you Dan, needed money to get home you could have made arrangements with the local Red Cross field representatives. Their job is to solve family problems, providing relief where necessary, securing social histories and reports on home conditions required by military authorities in considering questions of medical and hospital treatments, discharge, furloughs and clemency. Cooperation is also rendered in securing the return to duty of men, particularly first offenders, who are AWOL. Claims both for disabled veterans and able-bodied were necessary.

Page 2   4/26/42

Red (Sirene) came home this weekend and he and Dick have been up at Plumbs (a member of “the Gang” and Dan’s girlfriend) this afternoon starting to get the tennis court in condition. Dave stayed home to work on getting his wheel in condition.

Elizabeth and her two tykes just came in. They had been up at the Zabel’s and are going back. Zeke is fishing. He got a couple of trout last week.

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

Cedric Duryee Guion

Ced, it is so long since your last letter and so unlike you to cause me to get anxious that I am wondering if you have written and for some reason or another, the letter has failed to arrive. I have thought that for war reasons there might be a strict censorship on outgoing letters, but I can hardly believe that they would stop mail entirely even though they might delete some of the things you might write. I reasoned that if you were ill or something, Rusty would write, still I cannot understand how you could be too busy to even drop me a card, knowing you are thoughtful and considerate of others. So in a word, you have me guessing. I have had only the one letter since you have returned from the glacier repair trip.

I would like, if possible, to hear from you in time to get off some little birthday remembrance that would reach you by June 1st, so if everything is O.K., drop me a line as soon as you get this, PLEASE, and tell me what would be welcome from home.

Lad has now about finished training a successor in his shipping department job, and the next step is to talk to someone in the company to learn what the latest news is regarding his draft status and whether he should proceed at once to try to get into the Naval Reserves.

There doesn’t seem to be any further items of interest I can think of to mention at this time. Anyway, it’s time I got a bite to eat for Aunt Betty, so I’ll close in the customary manner, the usual method of signing off as

DAD

Tomorrow and for the rest of the week, I will be posting more letters from Grandpa to those sons, Dan and Ced, away from home.

Judy Guion